Thursday, December 11, 2008
The Night Marchers, See You in Magic (Swami/Vagrant)
John Reis seems to know only one thing, and that’s how to play the world’s best grimy rock & roll. The man also known as Speedo has been the drive behind Drive Like Jehu, the mighty Rocket From the Crypt, the Sultans, the Hot Snakes, and now, having closed the lid on all those bands, he’s formed the Night Marchers. See You in Magic is the band’s debut, another winner in the Reis catalog, 13 more songs to add to the canon. The guitars on Reis-related records always sound the way angry guitars should sound: raw, loud, taut. The drums are big, the vocals are Reis’ trademark growl and yelp, and the songs are tuneful and tight. The loss of RFTC was lamentable for fans of no-bullshit garage rock. Similarly, both the Sultans and the Hot Snakes seemed incapable of wrong moves. They’re all gone now, but See You in Magic points toward a future where Reis continues to provide just what’s needed. Here’s hoping the run continues, though it shows no signs of doing otherwise.